Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Killing Someone With a Pumpkin

Can a pumpkin be used to kill someone?

Short answer: yes.
Long answer: Yes, but it takes some planning about how you want the pumpkin to be deadly.

My first thought was trauma. A pumpkin dropped off a bridge has the potential to kill someone.
It’s that time of year. The big orange gourds are everywhere from supermarkets to front porches.

Unfortunately, a pumpkin combined with gravity can be lethal—or not, depending on the scenario.

There are multiple reports of pumpkins being dropped onto moving vehicles resulting in accident. With adequate height and a large pumpkin, the windshield can cave in. Depending on what happens to the car after impact, yes, a deadly accident can result.

A dropped pumpkin striking a person directly—such as on the head—would be tougher to pull off, but could be done. The timing and placement of the injury would be somewhat difficult to write in a plausible manner. Of course, if the impact resulted in the victim falling and hitting a hard surface with the head, a more serious injury would occur.

There are competitions with catapults and pumpkins; these missiles can be dangerous. This would make a possible scenario.

An anaphylactic (a dangerous allergic reaction) to touching or eating pumpkin could work.

Last, there’s always choking to death on pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, or pumpkin soup.

Good luck!

Questions? Comments?
Kelly has worked in the medical field for over twenty years, mainly at large medical centers. With experience in a variety of settings, chances are Kelly may have seen it.
Sometimes truth seems stranger than fiction in medicine, but accurate medicine in fiction is fabulous.
Find Kelly’s fiction at www.kellywhitley.com


  1. I once grew a sixty-pound pumpkin. Put a raincoat on it to carry it around. I suspect it could have done the job.

  2. I'm thinking...back up a truckload of pumpkins and dump them on the victim...blunt force trauma, crushing injuries and asphyxiation for good measure! Dumping the load from some height would increase the mess, if not the effectiveness. :-)

  3. I live in RI, home of the world record pumpkins (over 2000 lbs). None of mine have reached quite that, yet. One could easily tip off the forklift or the crane with straps to lift and move them. And you could always kill yourself trying to lift one LOL

  4. Kelly,

    a fun premise and just in time for the spooky night!

    Thanks for the chuckle,
    Cathryn Cade